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In The Bloom with Maria: Boost your business by hosting an in-store event

In The Bloom with MarinaYou’ve no doubt seen social media posts showing groups of people holding up paintings with wine glasses in the forefront on the tables. Or you’ve driven by a boutique shop and wondered why so many cars were parked out front and the lights on deep into the evening.

Chances are the social media posts and the in-store traffic after usual business hours has something to do with an “experience” taking place.

Experiences in this sense are in-store events such as a wine and paint party, cooking classes, or a floral design class held outside of normal business hours. Many of these experiences are aimed at women with disposable income looking to have fun with friends doing something out of the ordinary.

Experiences are a great way to boost customer retention, bring in additional customers, and attract people who might not be familiar with your shop or design studio.

To help set a more festive atmosphere, many of these experiences also involve snacks and alcohol. Dubbed “festive refreshments” by SAF’s Floral Management magazine in the October 2016 article titled “Upping the fun factor on in-store events,” these adult beverages might include wine, margaritas, or other types of alcohol.

Floral businesses are getting in on the action with in-store events, too, either to bring in more customers and/or show off a new location or renovation of an existing location.

In-store events are a great way to drive new business into shops and design studios, showing off your inventory. And remember, festive refreshments are now expected by customers during these experiences. However, before serving up the drinks, there are a few things to keep in mind regarding liability and safety.

Although it’s correct that you typically don’t need a liquor license since you’re not charging for the alcohol (some states may vary), you do need to practice liability due diligence in only serving to adults at the state-approved drinking age and using good judgement so as to not overserve anyone.

You also want to keep the event safe. Take care to clean up debris from a DIY design class for example, or keep the festive portion of the event in a different area than the workshop. And be mindful of any tools or materials that you provide to those participating in your class, such as floral knives, sharp floral wires, leaf shine, or other inhalant type aerosol sprays, etc.

At the end of the night, be sure to encourage photo-ops, perhaps even crafting an area of the shop just for that reason. After all, what do a lot of people do with their photos today? They share them on social media, adding another potential wave of exposure for your events and your shop.

If you have any liability questions when it comes to hosting an experience, give one our agents a call. We’re happy to help.